20 Apr 2011

An almost museli - fruit and nut granola

Breakfast is one of the most important meal to kick start a day packed with energy. Here, we both prefer a nutrient rich and light breakfast. I used to buy this breakfast cereal to eat in the morning with milk, we used to always find it very sticky and too soft once you pour milk over it. Then I saw many recipes for something called granola, I did know what museli was and I loved it for breakfast with some cut apples in it. It was just a "perfect" way to start a day for me !

I just felt that most of the granola recipes had too much sugar and oil (may be butter also) in it. I got this really good recipe for a granola here, from Meeta at What's for lunch, honey?.
Oh yea, I did tweak the recipe here and there to suit our tastes. I am giving here the final version of the recipe that I usually make when we want a good museli at home.

These are what you need to make a hearty granola,

5 cereal mix, rolled - 400 gms
Cranberries, raisins, apricots and dates - 145 gms
Figs, almonds, pistachios and walnuts - 140 gms
Sunflower seeds - 90 gms
Cinnamon, ground - 2/3 tsp
Raw cane sugar - 90 gms
Molasses - 20 gms (1 Tbsp)
Water - 25 gms
Oil - 1/3 tsp (I used rape seed oil)

1. Preheat the oven at 160 deg C. Line a sheet tray with baking paper. 

2. In a big pan mix the sugar, molasses, water and oil. Heat it and keep stirring it to make it a homogeneous mixture and to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat as soon as the sugar has dissolved.

3. To the sugar mixture add the 5 rolled cereal mix, chopped figs (only it they are too wet), chopped almonds, pistachios and walnuts, sunflower seeds and ground cinnamon. Mix well to nicely coat all the cereal and nuts as much as possible.

4. Spread this mixture on the lined baking tray. Bake for 30 mins or till the cereal starts looking lightly browned. Mix the baking mixture 2 - 3 times, so that they are all equally browned.

5. As soon as the baked cereal mixture is removed from the oven, tip in rest of the dry fruits (chopped if needed like the apricots). Mix well and let it cool completely before storing it in a container.

Serving suggestions: Eat as a morning cereal, sprinkle over milkshakes, use to layer parfaits, you can even add some to your home made icecream, oh! I can go on..... :P

Have fun baking :)

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

13 Apr 2011

Some teasing and a delectable Beetroot halwa

There are times in your life where you feel so elated at such simple things life throws at you. You have so much fun doing somethings so silly !!!! little you realise that if someone sees what you were upto, you would look quite stupid. Well.... as long as there you have fun and find joy in somethings, nothing really bothers you ! (right ?).

It is kind of related and unrelated to me having a good time teasing a neighbour's cat.....  :) It is one of the most good looking cats I have seen here ! It is a very naught cat too. The other day when it was raining I noticed something sitting on my bathroom window, it was this naughty cat sitting there. Our neighbour has two cats, and both of them are really naughty and very very good looking ones !

Every evening, she whistles for the cats calling their names and they slowly reluctantly come back home, exactly like how we used to be when we were kids (but mom never used to whistle for us obviously ! ..... :P).

Ok now back to the recipe story. Once when I had asked my dear hubby whether he had tasted beetroot halwa, he told me "Oh yes ! mom used to make it so many times, I used to really like it." Contrary to him, I had tasted the halwa only once till now. It was so good !!. 

The next day I got hands on really fresh beetroot in the supermarket, asked mom whether anything different has to be done to prepare beetroot halwa or is it the same as the one we prepare with carrots. She told me to try out the same way that we prepare carrot halwa. I did try and succeed :) yay !
I pretty much followed the same method and mesurement ratios as for carrot halwa.

We need,

Beetroot, grated (with a big grating slot) - 220 gms
Milk - 11/2 cups
Cashews, pistachios and almonds - 5 each, chopped
Raw cane sugar (or you can use the regular white one) - 41/2 Tbsps (I would suggest you to reduce the sugar or increase depending on the sweetness of the beetroot)
Green cardamom pods, powdered - 2
Ghee / clarified butter - 1/3 tsp

1. Heat the ghee in a pan, add the cashews and saute them till they turn light golden brown.

2. Tip in all the grated beetroot and fry for 6-7 mins (till the raw smell goes and it starts to change colour.

3. Pour the milk and bring it to a boil and keep stirring it, you do not want the bottom to burn !

4. Once the milk starts boiling add in the chopped pistachios and almonds. Keep stirring.

5. Once the beetroot has absorbed almost all of the milk poured, add the sugar and cardamom powder and stir well. The mixture will get little thinner in consistency due to the addition of sugar.

6. Cook the halwa for another 8-9 mins. Just take care not to cook the halwa till it is too dry because it will get really sticky. So remove it from the heat when the halwa is soft just take care that you do not see any watering liquid.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)